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Martello Towers in Mauritius

The British decided to build five Martello Towers alongside the West coast of Mauritius as a coastal defense structure in case of invasion by the French who at that time were unhappy with the British plan to abolish slavery. One was found at Tamarin, another at L’Harmonie (now a national monument), one at la Preneuse, one at Fort Victoria and the last one known as Cunningham’s Tower.

The tower at La Preneuse is the only one which has remained intact. It was declared as a National Heritage site and converted into a museum. Concerning the other four towers, two were completely destroyed and the other two were partly damaged.

The Martello Towers were never involved in any military action. The Cunningham Tower disappeared between 1880 and 1902 and information about the tower at Fort Victoria was last recorded in 1880. Oral accounts have it that in the 1930s the Tamarin tower had already been abandoned and the site littered with cannon balls.